A Quartet of African American Women Who Have Been Selected for Notable Honors

Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, president of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a recipient of the 2019 Villager Award from The Afram Global Organization, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization focused on projects that empower African-Americans and Africa diaspora immigrants. The award is presented annually to African-Americans and others who exemplify Afram’s mission to create environments in which persons from diverse circumstances and experiences can come together and co-learn with each other in a way that bridges opportunity gaps, retains respective cultures, and ultimately benefits society.

Dr. Dawkins has served as the president of Bennett College since July 2017. Earlier this year, she led the institution through the successful “Stand with Bennett” fundraising campaign that raised $9.8 million. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Karen Robinson, associate professor of nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, has received the 2019 American College of Nurse-Midwives Teaching Excellence Award. The national award honors a nurse-midwifery professor who has shown outstanding qualities for teaching, inspired students to excel, and promoted high standards of education.

Dr. Robinson holds a Ph.D. from Marquette University.

Gabrielle Abelard, a clinical assistant professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been named the 2019 Haitian American Young Professional of the Year by the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce/Haitian American Business Expo. The award was established to honor and recognize young professionals under the age of 45 who continually demonstrate outstanding leadership, exemplary professional accomplishments, and commitment to their communities.

Dr. Abelard holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in nursing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Regis College in Massachusetts.

Benita Powell, assistant general counsel at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina and advisor of the FSU Pre-Law Society, has been named HBCU Pre-Law Advisor of the Year. She will receive the award during the National HBCU Pre-Law Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Award Presentation and Aspiring Lawyers Pinning Ceremony on September 21, 2019 at the Georgia State University College of Law. Powell has served as FSU’s lead Pre-Law Advisor since 2011. Under her leadership, FSU developed a dynamic pre-law society, an institutional major focused on pre-law, and an interdisciplinary advisory board. She also serves as president-elect of the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors.

Powell is a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she majored in psychology. She holds a juris doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis and a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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